top of page

The Heron-Marked Sword: A Wheel of Time Deep Dive!

Watch the video or read the article (which is the video script and all the references!):

The Wheel of Time book series is full of incredible action with a variety of fighting styles and detailed weaponry. Amazon Prime released a teaser, where they revealed the tv series version of one of the most iconic weapons in the Wheel of Time: The Heron-marked sword. This is not a teaser breakdown or reaction article. Instead, this is the first of a deep dive series where I’ll unravel everything we know about the Weapons of the Wheel of Time. This is Unraveling the Pattern.

Weapons of the Wheel: The Heron-Marked Sword

If you’re new to the series and wish to remain completely spoiler free, avoiding even history or backstory, this article may not be for you, but no main story or plot related spoilers will be revealed here. If you have read the entire series, be sure to watch the two heavy-spoilers follow-up videos (coming soon) all about heron-marked swords and blademasters in the books. The first of two spoiler-heavy videos will also include some of my thoughts about the Amazon Prime heron-marked sword teaser. In the second spoiler-heavy video I will discuss the blademasters of the series and reveal my top 10 blademasters list. Let’s get to it.


In the Age of Legends, 3,000 years before the start of the Wheel of Time story, the world was peaceful, with no true comprehension of weapons or fighting. History books from that time contained words like “war” and “battle,” but people did not understand what those words meant.1

Violence was so rare that swords and other weapons were only used for sports like fencing,2,3 or to be looked at in museums that contained relics of Ages past. After the Bore was drilled and the Dark One was able to influence the world, people began to turn on each other and violent acts became more common.4

Over the course of about 100-110 years, a time known as The Collapse, many people sided with either the Dark One or the forces of the Light.5 The “ancient form of swordfighting”6 was revived and many primitive ways of war and combat were rediscovered. When the Dark One’s minions first attacked, the world was ill prepared. This was the beginning of the War of the Shadow, also called the War of Power.7 From that time, advances in technology slowed and weapon manufacturing became top priority.8 More deadly sword and knife sports were introduced9, and children as young as ten years old were trained to become soldiers, learning battle tactics and defense strategies.10

The One Power, a type of magic used in the Wheel of Time, was combined with forging techniques to create “Power-wrought” or “Power-forged” weapons by Aes Sedai or magic users of the time.11 Check out my video all about the One Power to learn more about the magic of the Wheel of Time.12

The World of Robert Jordan’s the Wheel of Time, or the “Big White Book” as fans lovingly call it, says the following:

“During the War of Power many weapons were made using the Power. Among these were very special swords made so that they would not shatter or break, and would never lose their edge. Some, made for soldiers, bore no special mark. The sword of the Malkieri Kings was one of these. Others were made for lord-generals, and bore a heron or other mark deep within the metal.”13

I’m currently creating an in-depth series all about the history of the Wheel of Time called “Wheel of Timelines.” You can watch the first one on my channel now,14 and the second one is out too!15 A more in-depth video all about the War of the Shadow or War of Power is planned as well.16

Much has changed in the world of the books since the War of Power, which ended about 3,000 years before the first book. The ancient technique of creating Power-forged weapons was lost, and so the few remaining Power-wrought heron-marked swords are rare and very valuable, with one character claiming there may only be a handful of them left in the world.17


During the Third Age, or the time period of the books, an extremely accomplished sword fighter can become a blademaster. According to the Wheel of Time Companion,

“There are two ways to become a blademaster: to receive a unanimous decision by a panel of five blademasters judging one’s skills, or to kill another blademaster in fair combat. A blademaster was entitled to carry a heron-marked sword.”18

So, if you see someone with a heron-mark sword during the Third Age, you would be wise to step lightly.

Sword Forms

One of the things that makes the sword fighting in the Wheel of Time unique is that Robert Jordan does not usually describe play-by-play action. Instead, he relies on what he called “Sword forms” or “Sword moves” to describe the fighting.20 This gives the reader the ability to fill in the action with their imagination. He uses terms like “Cat Crosses the Courtyard” or “Apple Blossoms in the Wind, or “Arc of the Moon,” or “Watered Silk,” just to name a few.21

There are dozens of sword form names, including the following:21

Apple Blossoms in the Wind

Arc of the Moon

Black Lance's Last Strike

Black Pebbles on Snow

The Boar Rushed Downhill

The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain

Bundling Straw

Cat Crosses the Courtyard

Cat Dances on the Wall

Cat on Hot Sand

The Courtier Taps His Fan

The Creeper Embraces the Oak

Cutting the Clouds

The Cyclone Rages

Dandelion in the Wind

The Dove Takes Flight

Eel Among the Lily Pads

The Falcon Stoops

The Falling Leaf

Folding the Air

Folding the Fan

The Grapevine Twines

The Heron Spreads Its Wings

Heron Wading in the Rushes

Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose

Kingfisher Circles the Pond

The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback

Kissing the Adder

Leaf on the Breeze

Leopard in High Grass